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THE MORAL OF THE STORY: Marketing first; advertising second

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Marketing has always been important but Covid-19 has served to put the focus on marketing as a business activity like never before.

And by this, we don’t mean which advertising method or digital channel to choose, because this Covid-market shake-out is a lot more fundamental than that.

For many business owners, their traditional market has gone completely or their customers have become a lot more discerning due to abrupt unemployment or a fear of the economic future now facing New Zealand.

It’s a frightening time as a business owner, but it’s one that we have to accept and adapt to, if we are to stay relevant and to survive.

As business owners, it’s important to take stock of the ‘new normal’ as quickly as possible, to really understand what it is that your customers are buying from you (what feelings or emotions are they tapping into), and to have the courage to reset your business based on new market conditions should you need to.

What that means is getting close to your clients and customers, understanding their motivators and determining what they are seeking from you at a fundamental level. It could be as simple as doing a post Covid-survey or undertaking a facilitated Marketing Plan that drills into these questions.

The answers might not be what you think, but the insight provided may open up new business opportunities.

Marketing has been, and will always be, about the market itself i.e. who is buying what you sell, what are their motivators to choose you over all others, and will they continue to buy from you at a price that makes it both profitable and sustainable for your business.

Yes, advertising messages and digital channels are important, but relevance to your market is first and foremost. Once you understand your relevance and your customers, and can deliver what they want sustainably and profitably, then you can create your advertising messages and choose your channels accordingly.

Get the basics wrong though, and it won’t matter how good your creative and channel selection are, because the message will be falling on deaf ears.

The moral of the story: Marketing first; advertising second.

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